Progressive Web Apps – Build user experience to steer growth

Progressive web apps seem to be a latest buzz word but what does it mean. I am Umar Belal, a technology consultant at CodeNinja Inc and in this article you will learn what are Progressive web apps and why do you need one.

Web development has changed a lot over the years. When Ajax transformed the web from dynamic pages to interactive web experiences, user expectations has changed a lot. Gone were the days when user had to wait many seconds after a click. Now, user demands a much more rich experience of the web something similar to Google maps on the browser – real time interactive zoom-in and zoom-out experience, movement of objects and much more.

Unfortunately the technological feats we have accomplished on the Desktop apps did not translate into Mobile apps. Consider, for example, using Google maps application. What would you like to use, Google maps in the native app or the browser?  Chances are you would use the Native apps.

Mobile is the key driver for this shift towards Progressive web apps. We now use Mobile devices more than the desktop computers so the experience of the users on Mobile should be taken care-of. But why PWA and not the native apps. There are many factors that somehow reduce the reach and capabilities of native apps.

Capability VS reach Matrix (Source Google PWA Road Show):

If we draw a capability Vs reach matrix between Webapp and Native apps, there is a trade-off. At one end, Native apps are lot more capable in creating a great user experience as they sit natively over the operating system. Seamless integration with OS, Push notifications, extremely fast loading time and functional performance even at the lowest of the internet speed makes Native apps a lot more capable than traditional web apps.

But there is a challenge – most of the users find it really hard to install an app and put it into their home screen. After all, users have a limited space in their mobile, making them install every app natively costs in terms of space and time. So Native apps are lot more capable but they have a limited reach.

On the other end, Web Apps have a lot more reach than Native apps but rank significantly lower in terms of their capabilities in creating a great user experience. There are tens and millions of web apps which users can browse through the browser but rich user experience like loading speed, push notifications are not available in traditional web apps. So here comes the progressive web apps.

Progressive web apps give us the best of the both worlds. Not only provide rich capabilities in creating great user experience but also allows businesses to wider their audience and drive their business growth.

There are four key points which give PWS the capabilities of the native app and the reach of traditional web apps.

  • Fast:  When we experience Native apps , we experience an increased response time and even when the internet speed is too low, the Native apps never gets down in terms of saying messages like ‘Cannot be reached’. PWA gives us the same experience like native apps by an enhanced loading time and never say ’Cannot be reached’. Its underlying technology knows when to get a cached response and when to talk to a network creating a seamless user experience.
  • Integration: The second factor is integration. For example when user has to fill a payment form or delivery address, Native apps provide very smooth workflow however traditional web apps lack that kind of seamless workflow. PWA allows to create rich experience of native integrations even on the browser.
  • Reliable: Native apps never say’ Internet is down or URL cannot be reached’. They have the capabilities to work offline where as traditional web apps do not have such capabilities. PWA delivers same level of reliability as Native apps by working in offline modes and never displaying that dinosaur running.
  • Engagement: One of the most promising feature of Native apps is its capability to engage with the users with features like Push notifications. PWA even sitting on the browser provides such capabilities and features like Push notifications.

Companies like Twitter with the launch of Twitter light, UBER, Grab and Starbucks are few of the names whom have invested on progressive web apps to create a great UI experience while not limiting their growth. It’s worth to mention that on an average Zero people install new app in their phone per month gives us all an idea that Native apps are a burden and apart from a dozen apps, no one likes to install an app.

CodeNinja with its unique capabilities in PWA is a leader in PWA development in the region. Helping businesses from small to large, CodeNinja PWA developers and architects are exceptional in their ability to create seamless PWA.

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